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Rights & Reproductions

This page contains information on copyright, obtaining images and other reproductions of Museum materials, requesting permission to publish from the Museum's collections, and quoting from manuscript collections. If you have questions or need clarification about anything on this page, please contact the Samuel Eliot Morison Memorial Library at (617) 426-1812 or library@ussconstitutionmuseum.org.

Copyright Information

Photocopies, Reproductions, and Fair Use

The copyright law of the United States (United States Code, Title 17) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries, and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be used "for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use" that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

The Responsibility of the Researcher in Fulfilling Copyright Requirements

Access to and use of some materials in the collection may be subject to additional restrictions under United States Copyright Law. Users of reproductions produced by the Museum assume full responsibility for satisfying the requirements of copyright law, and for obtaining all permissions necessary for publication. When copyright is not held by the USS Constitution Museum, Museum staff will provide as much information as is available to aid the researcher in locating the copyright holder; however, the Museum cannot obtain permission on behalf of the researcher.

Images, Text, and Multimedia from the Museum's Collections

Obtaining Copies and Reproductions of Materials

All photocopies, digital reproductions, and prints are provided at the discretion of the Museum. The Museum will only provide copies and/or grant reproduction permission for materials in which the Museum is the copyright holder or for which there are no intellectual property rights restrictions. Reproduction of fragile materials in the Museum's collections is at the discretion of the Curatorial Department. The Museum reserves the right to refuse any request.

Fees for reproduction services vary. Please see the Fee Schedule for more information.

Using Materials from the Museum's Collection

Use of images, photocopies, digital reproductions, prints, and information from the Museum's website for publication, public display, or licensing agreements is subject to written permission from the Museum. Reproductions are for research and study purposes only, unless written permission to publish is granted by the Museum. Note: purchasing a reproduction does not grant the right to publish or reproduce. All requests to publish images, text, or multimedia must be submitted in writing, and may incur additional fees. Please see the Fee Schedule for more information.

Credit Information

Materials used for exhibition, publication, or broadcast must be credited “Courtesy USS Constitution Museum.”

Requesting Permission to Publish

A Permission to Publish agreement grants permission for a one-time, non-exclusive use of the material. Any different or subsequent use is subject to approval, and must be applied for in writing. For the purposes of the Permission to Publish Agreement, a single edition is defined as having a single physical format, a single date of production, and a single market. Any change in content constitutes a separate edition. Revised editions, foreign language editions, or other format changes, except for a paperback version of the original edition, will be subject to additional permission fees per format. Payment must be received in full before permission to publish can be granted. A copy of the publication containing the reproduction should be sent to the Museum immediately after publication.

Permission requests must include a description of the item to be reproduced, along with the following information:

  • Title of the publication/work
  • Author
  • Format (ie book, exhibition, article, etc)
  • Organization
  • Date of publication (known or anticipated)
  • Distribution (national, international)
  • Use (commercial, non-profit, personal)

Permission to Cite/Quote Manuscript Materials

Researchers must request permission from the Museum to cite or quote from manuscript materials in the Museum's collection. Requests must be submitted in writing, and can be emailed to library@ussconstitutionmuseum.org or addressed to:

Samuel Eliot Morison Memorial Library
USS Constitution Museum
PO Box 291812
Boston, MA 02129

Requests must include detailed citations about the materials used, as well as plans for publication (see "Requesting Permission to Publish" for the types of information needed).